Euthanasia: Utiliarianism and Morality of Death

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I'm not afraid of being dead. I'm just afraid of what you might have to go through to get there” (Pamela Bone). The sense of dying or losing a loved one is a conception that has plagued any family member at some time or another. How will one deal with the struggle of burying their loved one, the bills, and not waking up and seeing them or calling them every day? More so, will that person be in the pain when they leave their physical form? Euthanasia, or assisted suicide, gives a person the chance the take the ending of their life into their own hands and make, an otherwise undefined, decision of how he/she would want their final moments to be. In this paper I plan to display that based on the utilitarian perspective, Rachels’ writings, and contemplating human rights constructed from a governmental outlook, that euthanasia is just and morally acceptable and should be considered in a reasonable means of expiry when an entity is plagued with chronic mental, emotional, or physical pain.
James Rachel’s explains in his 1986 work The End of Life: Euthanasia and Morality that when death is the only escape from chronic and overbearing pain, it is justifiable to partake in or help someone achieve, assisted suicide (Rachels 312). What types of things cause ‘chronic and overbearing’ pain? Cancers, end-stage diseases, physical traumas, mental and emotional overwhelming pain; most people think that these types of abnormalities will affect older individuals, and for most situations, that is true. Yet, what can be done for the eight year old that is suffering from a neuromuscular disease? She has the mentality and emotional response of a toddler and she has never developed fully to enjoy life. Now she has come into the hospital and is only ‘liv...

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..., why does suicide appear weak? Is it because it is easier to view someone as weak than see that society has shaped us to seeing that in ending our own pain we are taking initiative into our own hands and therefore responding against the conformity that we have been conditioned to feel? If that is the case, then are we really more than property value to the government; one that appears to fall into a negative cognition of the overall appearance of the rest of the country in morale and happiness.

Works Cited

Ebrahim, Nargus. "The Ethics of Euthanasia." The Australian Medical Student Journal. 3.1
(2012): 73-75.
Rachels, James, and Stuart Rachels. The Right Thing to Do: Basic Readings in Moral
Philosophy. 6th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2012. Print.
Rachels, Stuart, and James Rachels. The Elements of Moral Philosophy. 7th ed. New York:
McGraw-Hill, 2012. Print.

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